Political Insider

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Nathan Deal out raises Jason Carter in third quarter

Democrat Jason Carter's campaign for governor raised more than $3 million in the last three months, and he has about $2.8 million left in the tank for the final stretch in his race against Gov. Nathan Deal.

The governor's campaign reported raising $5.1 million this quarter but had less money on hand than the Democrat. He reported $2.6 million in his campaign coffer.

It was a strong showing for Deal, who was outraised by Carter three months ago. That report showed he raised more than $2 million in the second quarter. That far outpaced the Republican incumbent’s fundraising machine, which had collected roughly $1.3 million.

That led the governor to intensify his fundraising efforts. He pledged to lawmakers on a conference call that he “won’t leave anything on the table” and urged them in a letter to pony up.

The Carter campaign said it raised funds from some 22,000 donors. Among his more noteworthy contributions is $6,300 from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's camp.

"We've seen an enormous outpouring of support from grassroots donors who are sending contributions of $5 and $10," said campaign manager Matt McGrath. "While the governor will continue to rely on millions of dollars in outside money, our campaign is in a strong position for the final stretch."

A quick review of the numbers show about 80 percent of Carter's donors come from in-state sources. Deal's aides said 88 percent of their donors were from Georgia.

So why does Carter have a heftier bank account despite being outgunned by the governor in the last quarter? His spokesman Brian Robinson said its because the Deal camp has already settled up on outstanding bills that Carter's crew hasn't yet paid. Deal hit a similar theme in a press gaggle on Wednesday morning.

"I feel very good about it because we've paid our bills. And when you pay your bills, it cuts into your cash on hand," said the governor. "Interesting to see that some of his bills haven't been paid. You can hoard money and make your cash on hand look good. But we paid for most of our advertising in advance, and we feel very good going forward."

Carter spokesman Bryan Thomas had a different take:

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.